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Access to finance

28 October 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 15 June 2012

Information about the sources of finance available to SMEs in Greece.


Private capital continues to be the main funding source for businesses, and choosing the appropriate financial means and instruments is vital for a small or medium business to staying competitive.

Greece has set up a number of funding mechanisms.

Law on measures supporting the capital market, developing entrepreneurship and other provisions

Public financing

Indirect support

Access to funding for small and medium-sized companies is through the:

  • Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Very Small Enterprises (TEMPME) and
  • Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Handicrafts S.A (ΕΟΜΜΕΧ).

The Credit Guarantee Fund helps small companies with guarantees and counter-guarantees covering up to 45-70% of their commercial and financial risks between €10.000 and €400.000.

If your bank considers you have a viable business plan but seeks a guarantee by TEMPME, it will recommend one of the Fund's products. The bank then submits an application to TEMPE that evaluates your request.

Guarantee Fund for Small and Very Small Enterprises (TEMPME)

The Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Handicrafts provides letters of guarantee facilitating company access to public procurement. The maximum amount provided per business is €220 000, with procurement costs varying between 0.4% and 1.2%.

To obtain a letter of credit you have to submit an application to EOMMEX. If accepted, the Bank of Attica, which is responsible for evaluating applications and collecting charges, will issue the letter.

Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Handicrafts S.A. (EOMMEX)

The Ministry of Finance intends to implement two important EU initiatives in spring 2010:

  • The JEREMIE initiative aiming to support small to medium-sized enterprises (by making EUR 120 million contribution through the JEREMIE fund - a total of EUR 360 million by May)
  • The second one is the JESSICA initiative concerning common European Support for Sustainable Investment in urban areas in all EU Member States.

More information is available on the website below:

National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 - 2013

Direct support

The New Economy Development Fund (ΤΑΝΕΟ) is the first company in the competitive development of business risk funds aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises. It was developed as part of the "Competitiveness" operational programme.

New Economy Development Fund

Access to EU funding

The National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 - 2013 is the reference document used for the planning of EU Funds at a national level for 2007-2013.

All notices/invitations published in the context of implementing Business Schemes falling under the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2003 are available on the website below:

2007-2013 National Strategic Reference Framework Operational Programmes

Furthermore, the Hellenic Enterprise Europe Network (CIP-Hellas) Network provides updated information on EU scheme notices.

Enterprise Europe Network - Hellas

Private financing

Business angels

These are private investors who invest capital, time and experience in promising small and medium-sized companies.

"Business angels" - EOMMEX

"Business Angels in the Attica district" - KETA Attica

"Business angels" - Central Macedonia KETA

Venture capital

Venture capitals provide another possible source of funding. It is a type of private equity provided to promising businesses in exchange for a percentage of the shares (approx. 30%) for a period of 3 to 7 years. In Greece there are some 20 companies providing this type of funding.

Union of Greek Venture Capitals


Business "incubators" are companies that support start-ups by providing premises, infrastructure and funding.

Business incubators

Banks also provide funding products (loans) aimed at professionals and businesses, and which concern funding for working capital, the purchase of business equipment and business premises.

Hellenic Bank Association

Finally, leasing is a modern medium to long-term method of financing companies and professionals for the acquisition of fixed assets (i.e. equipment and property) for professional use.

Law on leasing

Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.

Business support — Greece

Source: Your Europe

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